April 22, 2005

Nuclear fission

Liberal Oasis sums up reports that Congressional Republicans are uncertain about proceeding with the "Nuclear Option" of ending Democratic filibusters on Bush's judicial nominees in light of new poll numbers that show Americans to be wary of the tactic and even Senate Republicans to be hesitant. However, certain Democrats, including Harry Reid and Joe Lieberman, are showing signs of weakness, i.e. compromise on this issue where Democrats, as is true with the Social Security debate, should not budge, both as a matter of principle and good politics, I believe.

The developments are worth following, as this is a pivotal political moment.


  1. Harry Reid and Joe Lieberman are turncoats. Anyone who does not agree is either a Republican or a turncoat themself. Whatever happened to the guillotine?

  2. Stephen Smith3:30 PM

    Hey Chris, thanks for the email. Looks like a nice blog. I have a particular interest in judicial nominations and the filibuster thereof. I actually worked on the issue during the summer of 2003 in the Majority Leader's Office. I would like to make a few predictions. 1) Various interest groups will start a large scale campaign of advertisements in order to move public opinion in a direction favorable to the nuclear/constitutional option. This will begin quite soon. 2) Republicans will successfully exercise the nuclear/constitutional option with 51-52 Senators voting for it. 2) They will do so relatively soon, likely by the end of May. 3) Democratic retaliation will be loud but ultimately irrelevant. If they attempt a total shutdown, they will end up looking like Newt redux. If they attempt a partial shutdown, they will look petulant. The reporting of Michael Crowley in The New Republic ("The Day After," 4/18/05) is particularly interesting on this count. 4) Rehnquist will retire this summer and Bush will appoint a judge who Ted Kennedy and Chuck Schumer consider "outside the mainstream." He/she will eventually be approved with less than 60 votes.
    I would love to see any comments you have.